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Legislative plan would limit third-party access to Florida's voter registration databases

warehouse with tables and voting bags and ballots on top, ready for election day
Steven Rodriguez
WFSU Public Media
Leon County’s Voting Operations Center, where votes are counted after election day.

Proposed legislation could make it harder for some outside groups to obtain certain voter application information.

St. Johns County Republican State Representative Cyndi Stevenson’s legislation would shield voters’ day of birth, email address, phone number, and party affiliation from public view.  

Groups like political parties, canvassing boards, and political candidates would still have access to the information. But others would have to seek approval from the Secretary of State to get the information. 

Virginia Hamrick, attorney for the First Amendment Foundation, said the group is concerned the measure could make it harder for voter education groups to contact voters.

“I talked to some different organizations," she said. "They do use this information for voter outreach and to make people aware of different election issues, to give out voter information and when elections are going to happen, what they need to have.”

Stevenson said her bill is intended to prevent bad actors from getting and misusing voters’ personal information. She said she’s been collaborating with the First Amendment Foundation and is working on amendments that may keep political affiliation public and exclude the Secretary of State requirement.

Stevenson added that victims of domestic violence or Floridians who have been restraining orders because they're concerned about their safety can also request that their information be shielded from the public.

Sarah Mueller is a journalist who has worked for media outlets in several states since 2010. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2010 and worked as a print reporter covering local government and politics.